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Monday, 18 February 2008

Getting innovators their due

Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, February резрек

Sudda Khan, an illiterate ironsmith of Mandola village in Mahendragarh district, developed a working model in which he operates 10 water-sprinkler nozzles with the help of a camel. This model is a big energy-saver, as even the electric-powered engine normally used for the purpose can run seven nozzles.

Chander Bhan, an illiterate farm labourer of Ballam village in Rohtak district, has designed a compact and hygienic well with the help of common plastic pipes all by himself.

Baba Bhundu Ram, an elderly resident of Katesra village in Rohtak, has spent his entire life growing and protecting trees in and around the village. He used novel methods such as covering the lower trunks of the trees with thorny bushes to save them from stray animals.

The examples can be multiplied. However, the sad part was that the innovators hardly get any support or recognition from the society. Neither their innovations were popularised nor did they get any financial benefit from these.

It was with the thought of identifying such innovators and promoting their talent that Rohtak-based Srishti Gyan Kendra has launched a campaign. The voluntary organisation works as part of Honeybee Network under the aegis of the National Innovation Foundation (NIF).

The centre recently rolled out its vehicle, SAKSHAM-II, for the scouting and documentation of innovators, popularising their innovative techniques throughout the state and looking out for business linkages for the innovators.

It may be pertinent to mention here that several innovators identified by the Honeybee network have been awarded and honoured by the President of India.

“We work with a two-pronged strategy of identifying patentable innovations and referring the same to the NIF; and publicising the innovations which cannot be patented, but have great social relevance,” says Kamal Jeet, chief executive officer of the Srishti Gyan Kendra.

He says the vehicle would tour the entire state during which new innovators would be identified and their innovations popularised. Regarding the nomenclature of the vehicle, he maintains that SAKSHAM stands for the “System for Augmenting Knowledge among Society and Hunting Un-Acknowledged Minds” and since they had launched their first such vehicle in 2002, the new one has been christened SAKSHAM-II. The vehicle was brought before the people on the occasion of the Republic Day celebrations.

“The innovators are doing great work in the state. The volunteers of the Srishti Gyan Kendra are also putting in tremendous efforts in identifying and promoting them,” says Beena Sengar, a senior fellow-cum-innovation officer from Ahemdabad, who recently visited Haryana.While a number of people have been developing innovative techniques in their quest of doing something different, this is perhaps for the first time that such a concerted attempt has been made to acknowledge and promote their talent. To put it in Beena’s words, “You have to see it to believe it.”